Vanguard Magazine

Jun/Jul 2015

Preserving capacity, General Tom Lawson, Chief of the Defence Staff, Keys to Canadian SAR

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6 JUNE/JULY 2015 s sIt REP One of the recurring themes in recent presentations on the Defence Procurement Strategy has been the role of independent third-party review. Whether it is air, land or sea directors of require- ments, or their project managers, none have been too sure what impact a third-party challenge func- tion of their requirements will have on the acquisi- tion process. Although the department has terms of refer- ence for the Independent Review Panel for Defence Acquisition , we won't truly know, of course, until af- ter the first few major projects have been assessed. De-risky business: The role of an independent challenge function After over 50 years of service, the venerable CH- 124 Sea King helicopter can finally beginning planning a retirement party. In mid June, the RCAF took official acceptance of six CH-148 Cyclone maritime helicopters at 12 Wing Shearwater, a major step in what has been a long road to replace the Sea Kings. Although the six Cyclones will not have their full operational capability for a number of years, they were accepted as part of an interim solution and on a revised schedule negotiated in January 2014 between the government and manufacturer Sikor- sky, and will have sufficient operational capability to allow the Forces to begin retiring the Sea Kings. The CH-148 fleet is expected to fully take over from the Sea King in 2018. Between December 2014 and this May, Sikor- sky and the Air Force and Navy conducted sea trials with the Cyclone on HMCS Halifax, flying 67 sorties and executing 322 landings and takeoffs from the frigate. According to the government, "with a maxi- mum cruise speed of 250km/hr, the CH-148 Cyclone helicopters will be approximately 10 percent faster than the CH-124 Sea King. Further, RCAF accepts interim capability of CH-148 the Cyclone has 36 percent larger usable cabin space, and it can exceed the range and endur- ance of a Sea King by 40 percent at max weight and sensor performance." The aircraft will be based at 12 Wing Shearwa- ter and used for training and testing. (The role of independent third-party advice, how- ever, has been well established in the shipbuilding, next-generation fighter and fixed-wing search and rescue programs.) A week after CANSEC, the government unveiled the members of its expert panel, which will review and validate the requirements of all projects over $100 million as well as selected projects below that amount. Chaired by Larry Murray, a former Vice Chief of the Defence Staff and Deputy Min- ister, the panel includes David Caddey, a former officer in the RCAF and senior executive with Mac- Donald, Dettwiler and Associates; Martin Gagné, a former senior executive with CAE; Renée Joli- coeur, a former Associate Deputy Minister of Pub- lic Works and Government Services; and Philippe Lagassé, associate professor of public and inter- national affairs at the University of Ottawa and a member of the independent review panel that assessed the evaluation of options for the CF-18 fighter replacement program. In an address to CANSEC, Defence Minister Jason Kenney shed some light on the importance of the review panel, suggesting "it will make a par- adigm shift in the way we conduct the business of defence procurement." Below ARe exCeRpTs FRoM His speeCH: "The complexity of modern military technolo- gies, the constant pace of change requires long lifecycles of project management and in-service support as well as the management of complex acquisitions. All of that creates real challenges for us. And that's why the government introduced the Defence Procurement Strategy last year. We need to work better to avoid, of course, cost overruns and scheduling delays. "One of the elements of the [DPS] is the creation of a third-party review panel to independently re- view the requirements of major defence projects at the beginning of the process, rather than at the end, where we've often ended up with problems when different parties, industry and different bid- ders and different departments, get their oar in the water and point out unforeseen issues. Very often, we've been sent back to the drawing board. We want sign-off essentially, from all of the key stakeholders in principle on a project at the front

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